Concrete Forming 101 – The Basics
Concrete forming is not really difficult. However, it is a must that you know how you should do things in the first place to make sure that concrete forming will be done properly. Concrete forming takes skill but this is something that you can learn fast. Using the right equipment will also help for everything to go smoothly.
First Step – Position
With the use of string and stakes, make out the concrete slab’s position. Identify the grade of concrete using the level. Continue to shift the parallel sides with your tape measure until the slab’s diagonals become equal. Maintain the width at the distance you prefer.
Second Step – Form
Boards are used for making the form and you need to place these around 1/8 inch from the set string line. Use wooden stakes to hold them in place. You can use 1 inch board when the concrete is 4 inches thick or even less. For the thicker concrete, opt for a thicker board for your form. Your timer must be straight and flat with just a few knots.
When the slabs are 4 inches thick or less, the center of the forms could be 32 inches. This will guarantee the proper support for the concrete. If you like the concrete to be thicker, the center of the concrete must not be less than 24 inches. The board forms must be nailed to stakes then put so they will be level to string line to the point that it almost touches it. Pack some soils surrounding the stakes for the form to be held in place.
Third Step – Concrete
You can purchase ready mixed concrete and have this delivered to the project site. As for larger jobs, it would be a better option. As for smaller jobs, you can mix the concrete yourself. The kind of concrete that you mix and how you will be mixing it is going to depend on the specific job you are undertaking. For instance, for paths, you can use around 5 ¾ water gallons for every sack of cement once the sand is damp. For wet sand, you can use 5 water gallons only.
It is important that you know the amount of concrete you will require for the job. When the path is covering 100 square feet with a depth of 4 inches, the estimate will be 1.2 cubic yards of concrete for filling the form.
Fourth Step = Pouring
Before you pour the concrete, you have to wet the whole area completely. Pour the concrete in then tamp this down thoroughly. After tamping it, take a piece of lumber of 2 by 4 inches to level the concrete to ensure proper concrete forming. You should move this lumber piece in back and forth motion as if you are sawing to achieve proper level to concrete.
Fifth Step – Contraction Points
You need to place contraction points in the concrete for you to complete concrete forming. After you set the concrete to the point that this can already support a plank of 2 by 8 inches, you can use this plank as the groover’s guide. The groover is going to cut to the concrete to create contraction points.